Snackle Smart Posters. The term might not seem familiar yet, but it won’t be long before the distinctive sheets of paper look as normal in any restaurant as a set of menus.
Smart Posters are posters with a difference. They display NFC and QR codes, which are scanned with a smartphone and used as shortcuts to online content.
With the adoption of smartphones growing at an exponential rate, John Mellows, Tommy Liu and Jonathan Smith were keen to cash in.
They saw how NFC was being used with concepts like Google Wallet and thought they could add value to the idea.
The team developed posters that can be placed on the walls of restaurants, in table displays and in bill holders. When a customer scans one of the codes, a feedback form is displayed, allowing him or her to comment on the food, the fact that the tables were too close together or that the waiter did a particularly good job.
“People rarely give feedback once they have left the restaurant,” says Mellows, managing director at Snackle.
“The posters allow any business to connect with their customers in a way that wouldn’t otherwise be possible.”
Snackle started out in late 2011 as a social website for foodies, but quickly pivoted after lukewarm feedback from hospitality owners. Moving away from the online review and rating model, it relaunched in July 2012 in its current incarnation, offering dynamic feedback to restaurateurs in real time. Snackle also offers a platform for businesses to create their own web-based mobile apps in a cinch.
While the primary clientele is restaurants, Snackle's technology is certainly applicable in other settings. A recent art exhibition by Wellington Institute of Technology students racked up 200 interactions by attendees, for example.
The company has grown to six staff and has another three in Australia, where a new market has emerged in the real estate industry – agencies are using the technology to let punters share listings instantly with friends.
Further afield, Mellows says there's potential in countries such as Taiwan and Singapore.